I know that a SO private-message feature has been repeatedly declined on this site. However, once StackChat is running, wouldn't such a feature be really useful?

Ie: "hey man, meet me in chillaxing at 3:30," "we had a really nice conv. tonight, can I get your email address?" or "you're project sounds great, maybe we can meet up some time"

  • 4
    social interaction? are you nuts? :p Commented Jul 15, 2010 at 7:58
  • Why not just include email addresses (e.g. in your profile) and privately communicate that way?
    – Gnome
    Commented Jul 15, 2010 at 8:43
  • I had to contact someone because of a security issue in his code and he had no email address in his profile. I left a comment containing my email address, waited a while, then deleted the comment. I'm hoping he will now see the comment in his private mail (stackoverflow notifications).
    – Jan Doggen
    Commented Sep 14, 2012 at 8:14

2 Answers 2


Unlikely, since chat PMs can't effectively be moderated due to their "invisibility".

In general PMs are a huge spam vector on a variety of platforms.

We will be implementing some kind of standard /nudge type command to get a person's attention (there will be strict rules around this, don't wory) when you'd like them to come over to a different room -- but allowing "secret messages" to be sent would be very, very dangerous.

  • Ahh I'd have beaten you if I weren't typing on my iPhone.
    – Andy E
    Commented Jul 15, 2010 at 8:47
  • Not even with the ability to block users (specific or all) from PM me?
    – juan
    Commented Jul 16, 2010 at 2:31

Jeff indicated that he wasn't too fond of PMs in chat because they can't be moderated. The same applies to PMs on the site. The concern I have with it is that I'd have to do a lot more spam flagging. There's also the hate-messaging side; if you have a disagreement with another user and they start sending you abuse, the only way it can be dealt with is if the moderators can see your PMs, which makes them much less private and raises another question - who moderates the moderators?

  • Er, for hate-messaging, /ignore?
    – Blorgbeard
    Commented Jul 15, 2010 at 9:06
  • 1
    @Blorgbeard: yes, but ignoring doesn't completely solve the problem of having an abusive user on the site.
    – Andy E
    Commented Jul 15, 2010 at 9:10

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